Study: America’s Healthiest Pets Live in Montana, Colorado, and South Dakota

For a recent report, Care.com analysts looked at pet care data in 50 states and the District of Columbia in order to come up with an overall ‘Pet Health’ score and rank. Using the categories ‘Illness,’ ‘Access to Vet Care,’ ‘Healthy Environment,’ and ‘Total Pet Spend,’ the ThinkTank researchers combined information and determined overall Pet Health Scores.

States ranking with the highest Pet Health Scores were the ones that had the lowest incidences of pet illnesses, better access to vet care, healthier environments for pets, and people who spent more money on their pets (excluding veterinary care). The data only included cats and dogs (sorry, bearded dragon fans!) and found that the healthiest pets typically were found out west, with Montana, Nebraska and Colorado topping the list. New Hampshire was the only American east coast state to make the top 10.

Related: Americans Will Spend $681 Million on Pets This Valentine’s Day

Arkansas, South Carolina, Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi brought up the bottom for being the states with the unhealthiest pets in the country.

Interestingly, Gallup just released new data about health and well-being trends among Americans. This study looked at and ranked overall health of Americans, including rates of diseases such as diabetes, depression and obesity, among other things. South Dakota ranked as one of the top three states with overall high well-being and health, as did Colorado and Montana. Surprisingly, Hawaii ranked highest for overall well-being and health but ranked 30th when it came to the health of its pets! (Oh, Hawaii!)

Related: Research Shows Pet Ownership Saves $11.7 Billion In Health Care Costs

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, health benefits from lovable, furry family members include decreased blood pressure, triglyceride levels, cholesterol levels and feelings of loneliness, so maybe some of those southern states in the bottom might want to reevaluate their pet situation. It sure does seem to work for Montana, Colorado and South Dakota!


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